FIRE FIGHTERS across Stafford, Stone and Rugeley will stage a four-hour walk-out next week in a row over pensions - leaving only skeleton staff to deal with fires.
Residents are being urged to take extra care during the strike action by the Fire Brigades Union between 12pm and 4pm on Wednesday.
Only a skeleton staff, including some who are not members of the FBU, will be available to cover across the county, meaning emergency calls will have to be prioritised.
The national FBU announced yesterday it was declaring the industrial action over changes to their Government pension payments and conditions of service. The union has to give seven days’ notice prior to the action.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care at home and on the roads, including testing smoke alarms and disposing of cigarettes and matches carefully. Residents are also being asked to look out for elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours and help them stay safer.
Staffordshire’s deputy chief fire officer Chris Enness said there were robust plans in place for industrial action and they would be answering and responding to all life risk incidents.
“However, we will not be able to provide our usual emergency response cover during the strike period. This means it is more important than ever for people to be extra vigilant when it comes to their and everyone else’s safety,” he said.
“There is no need to be alarmed, but I am appealing to people to drive carefully, ensure that all cooking appliances and electrical items are switched off after use and to check their smoke alarms are working – these simple actions could save their, or their family’s lives. It is also important that people take care while at work in commercial and businesses premises.
“We are notifying local residents, businesses and the local media as to what people can do to keep themselves safe. Fire safety information is also available by clicking on the banner below.
The FBU has said the current proposals would see fire fighters who retire or are forced out of work at 55 losing about 50% of their pensions.